Mayor Bill de Blasio called New York the “safest big city in America” in the midst of a recent increase in anti-Semitic and violent attacks on Jewish people living in and around the city.
According to The New York Times, there have been at least eight anti-Semitic incidents in and around New York since Dec. 13. On Saturday night, five Jewish people were stabbed at a rabbi’s house in Monsey, New York.
The day after the attack, the mayor announced the creation of new multi-ethnic interfaith Neighborhood Safety Coalitions and increased the police presence to try to combat the increase in attacks.
“Fearing the next act of terror will not become the new normal for our Jewish neighbors,” de Blasio said in a media release. “In New York City, diversity is our strength and we respect the traditions of all who call New York City home. Intolerance will never take hold here.”
De Blasio made his claim that New York is the “safest big city” in response to criticism from former Republican New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani.
“Possibly the worst Mayor in NYC, de Blasio, has watched anti-semitism rapidly metastasize, like a cancer, & is too unconcerned or lazy to ‘nip it in the bud,’” Giuliani tweeted on Monday.
…to condemn anti-semities in his own party who support BDS & similar movements, who’s main objective is to destroy the Jewish Homeland.
— Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) December 30, 2019
“It’s striking how out of touch Rudy Giuliani is at this point. He doesn’t even understand what’s happening in New York City,” de Blasio told NBC News’ Geoff Bennett in response.
“The NYPD very, very consistently deals with quality of life crimes, hate crimes, the smaller things like graffiti for sure.”
He added, “The bottom line is we take all of that seriously. Look, this is the safest big city in America and I am very proud of what the NYPD has done.”
The mayor also defended his policies and contrasted them with Giuliani’s.
“And the fact is it’s because there is that deep presence all over our communities and the theory of neighborhood policing — something Rudy Giuliani never attempted, which is to actually get our officers to have a close and communicative and respectful relationship with our communities — now we are getting a lot more help from communities in finding out who’s doing these things and in preventing these kinds of acts.”
De Blasio continued his criticism of Giuliani on Twitter.
What a surprise: Rudy Giuliani exploiting a tragedy to sow division between New Yorkers and promote himself. It’s what he’s best at.
The guy who spent this week spreading anti-Semitic conspiracy theories over cocktails can take a seat today. https://t.co/DVjZGcLzDH
— Mayor Bill de Blasio (@NYCMayor) December 30, 2019
Although New York reported its lowest rate of homicides in 70 years in 2018, the homicide rate increased by 28 percent during September and October this year. The NYPD announced earlier in December that murders citywide were also up 8.7 percent in 2019, according to the Brooklyn Eagle.
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